Soundrop, the Downtown Music Holdings-owned music distribution service made for social video creators, is making it even simpler to distribute, promote, and monetize covers and song collabs. Now, for less than a dollar per track, creators who rely on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch can release fully licensed covers on major music services around the world. They can also set up unlimited numbers of royalty splits for their collaborators, at no extra cost.
“The indie music market is in that second or third wave of independent distribution where the markets are more established — and there are many different types of creators,” said Joel Andrew, President of Soundrop. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all market now. There are all these subsets of markets and different types of creatives out there — and their needs are changing constantly. We’re changing with them.”
Cover songs are an essential part of many creators’ strategies. Some of the most successful channels on YouTube, with tens of millions of subscribers each, were built around innovative covers, be they a cappella arrangements or quirky style swaps. These are the YouTubers who turn that top-40 pop single into a reggae/grunge rock fusion track or the TikTok creator who transforms show tune choruses into epic rap battle videos.
For these platform-first creators, formal music distribution may be a second step and has traditionally been rife with problems, from copyright snags to high costs once the final distribution fees get tallied. It can make the whole process not worth it, for those who find their audience on platforms and apps, not streaming music services.
With their artist-friendly fee structure, licensing and backend help, and customer service, Soundrop has changed this. Even before the new pricing, they were the go-to service for cover song artists. “Soundrop has made it super easy to license cover songs,” said YouTuber and cosplay cover artist Ginny Di. “No matter how obscure, no matter the genre, I’ve been able to monetize all kinds of covers with confidence.”
“Thanks to Soundrop I am able to release my covers on various streaming sites where I wasn’t able to before. Thanks to this huge help, I can reach more fans and ensure a constant revenue source so I can keep releasing content and working towards my dreams,” said anime cover artist ShiroNeko.
For years, independent artists have been seen as one big group with similar needs. The needs and career paths of artists and creators, however, are now so different that nuance and specialization are required. “Creators who make music as part of their work want and need different things than a musician who’s recording albums and booking tours,” Andrew noted. “They are highly collaborative, so they need splits without extra fees, and they love to experiment and play around with popular tracks, so they need cover licenses that don’t break the bank. The new music economy will be built and maintained by services that recognize that creators and independent artists have career paths and fan platforms that are as diverse as the music they create.”